Sales volume was steady while average prices were down in most areas of Walton County for the month of July 2014 compared to July of 2013. The Emerald Coast Association of Realtors reported a total of 317 residential sales in July 2014, down 1 percent from 320 sales in July 2013. Of these, there were 72 vacant lot and land sales, down 11 percent from 81 last July. The average price of all land sales was up, from $219,426 to $383,052 in July 2014. There were 245 home sales, up from 239 in July 2013 with an average price of $508,770, down 13 percent from $587,765 in July 2013. A more detailed breakdown by area follows.



Miramar Beach / Sandestin



There were 11 vacant lot sales, up from seven in July of 2013. The average price was up, from $207,429 to $528,991 this July. It is important to note that five of the sales this July were either Gulf or Bay front, bringing the average price up. There were 32 single family and townhome sales, slightly down from 36 in July 2013. The average price of a single family home was $565,781, up from $494,878 last July. Per square foot, the average price was $276, up 37 percent from $201 last year. Condominium sales were down, with 31 in July 2014 and 49 in the same time period of 2013. In July 2014, the average price of condos was up, from $316,954 to $493,177 this year; the average price per square foot was also up to $300, from $233 in July 2013.



30A Area, West of Grayton Beach State Park



There were 13 vacant lot sales, down from 17 in July of 2013. The average price was also down, from $370,588 to $168,144. This is not indicative of a trend. Three of the lots in 2013 sold for $775,000 or more and the most expensive lot sold this July was for $435,000. There were 23 single family and townhome sales, slightly down from 24 in July of 2013. The average price was $642,136, down 8 percent from $696,730 in July 2013. Per square foot, the average price was $251, also down 8 percent from $273 last July. Condominium sales were also steady, with 12 each July. The average price of condos was up 5 percent, from $348,479 in July 2013 to $367,083 this July. The average price per square foot was $290, up from $253 last July.



30A Area, East of Grayton Beach State Park



This area remains the strongest in both sales volume and average prices in Walton County. There were 23 vacant lot sales, down from 26 in July 2013. The average price was dramatically up, from $299,515 to $748,426. Again, this increase in price has an explanation. In July 2013, there were no sales over $1,000,000 in the area and in July 2014, there were four, including one for $6,500,000 in Alys Beach. There were 51 single family and townhome sales, even from 51 last July. The average price of was $1,041,893, down 16 percent from $1,248,994 in July 2013. Per square foot, the average price was $419, down 6 percent from $439 last year. Condominium sales were up, with 18 in July 2014 and 17 in the same time period of 2013. In July 2014, the average price of condos was dramatically down, from $587,059 in July of 2013 to $279,611 this July. Last July, there were four condominium sales for more than $1,000,000 in the area and this July, the most expensive unit closed for $850,000. The average price per square foot was $328, down from $369 last July.



South of the Bay, North of Hwy 98, East of Sandestin



There were 10 vacant lot sales slightly down from 11 in July 2013. The average price was up, from $133,264 to $155,900. There were 32 single family sales, up from 19 last July. The average price of a home was $247,710, down from $411,748 in July 2013. This July, the most expensive home in the area sold for $435,000 whereas last July, there were two homes that closed for more than $1,500,000 each. Per square foot, the average price was $124, down from $144 last year.



Freeport to Niceville



The Freeport and Hwy. 20 area showed mixed results in both volume and price. There were seven vacant lot sales, down from nine in July 2013. The average price of lots was up from $31,556 to $41,950 this year. There were 25 single family home sales, up from 13 last July. The average price of a home was down however, from $218,130 to $164,421 this year. Per square foot, the average price was $88, down from $104 last year.



North Walton County, including DeFuniak Springs



There were eight vacant lot sales, down from 11 in July of 2013. The average price was up from $44,005 to $63,563 this July. There were 18 single family sales, unchanged from 18 last July. The average price of a home was $85,986, down from $104,919 in July 2013. Per square foot, the average price was $49, down from $60 last year.



When prices went up as dramatically as they did earlier this year, buyers pulled back, slowing the number of sales. Now, we are seeing volume increases accompanied by price declines. The next few months will be interesting to see if the market comes into balance. It is important to not make any blanket judgments based upon the raw statistics, but to dig deeper into the numbers to get a true picture.



Garner Chandler is a broker associate with 30A Local Properties in Grayton Beach . She is a member of the Counselors of Real Estate and of CCIM. She can be reached at garner@realestateon30a.com or 850-218-1020.